Once a Month Recap of 2012

I have oh, so many things to say about 2012. First, I want to thank it for not being boring. Second, I want to choke it for sometimes being completely unnecessary and painful. But, mostly, I’m just glad it’s coming to a close and we get a fresh start. Emotionally, 2012 has been an exhausting year for our world and, if I’m not careful, I will only focus on the bad things and tragedies. Really, couldn’t we all use a fresh start?

Naturally, I learned things about myself and some of them weren’t always pretty, but every work in progress has room for improvement. As a mom I was impatient and sometimes cranky, but I’ve asked forgiveness and tried to be better than I was before. As a partner, I practiced more communication with The Cuban. As an educator, I worked tirelessly for my students and their families, but right now my efforts feel as if they’re for naught. That one is something I’m always working on, but it’s been harder to pick myself back up after the recent Sandy Hook tragedy. But I don’t want to end the year solely focusing on that so I opened up folders of my photographs to view the arc of my life as told in pictures. It’s always a bittersweet time to go through my pictures to see what the year brought lest I think the year wasn’t fruitful. Indeed it was.

Here’s to a 2013 that has more love, learning, wisdom and kindness for our fellow man.
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  • January 1 of 12
    At the first of the year, Mason and I made a pact to eat better and exercise more. The Cuban joined in with us, too, and we played league volleyball together for the first time. We took more bike rides and walks in 2012 than in the previous 3 years and I'm glad we're getting more active as a family. All that Vitamin C paid off, though, because I didn't catch one cold this year! This picture is a good reminder that having a sense of humor is as crucial as taking our vitamins and getting exercise.
  • February 2 of 12
    In the month of love, Mason invited his girlfriend to come visit from out of state and I put out a spread for her. In typical fashion, Morgan woke up first and ruined my display. Ah, teenage boys. Still, we learned about love and heartbreak this year and also that bagels are forever. One of my goals is to be a better hostess and provide hospitality to our friends and I'm happy to say we increased entertaining our friends more than ever before, too.
  • March 3 of 12
    In March I took on a project to help get the Lincoln Colored Home up and running. When I gave it attention, the city started instituting fines and fees on the property and now the owner has to put it up for auction. It made me cynical about small town politics and race relations that haven't really healed, but I'm glad I got to meet the family who owns it. I'm just super disappointed in my city council. I also got to see how well The Cuban and I worked on an outside project together and we also got a car to give away to a high school student in our community. I think we may have a future in something, but what? We're not rich enough to be philanthropists. Oh, well! We'll still support and do what we can!
  • April 4 of 12
    Just when the weather started to get nice, I headed to Alaska! I went with the GoPro team and met some incredible physicists and teachers who remain close to me. I got to see the Northern Lights and go on a dogsled ride for the first time. It was so exhilarating that I didn't even mind the snow!
  • May 5 of 12
    The Cuban's son came to live with us this year and stayed for about 8 months. We bought him a guitar and he filled our house with music and joy and I got to experience being something of a stepmother for the first time. All in all, not bad lessons. That hospitality thing from February? Totally still practicing that in May of the year.
  • June 6 of 12
    At work, I moved offices and took on even more with my job. I worked harder on organization (one of my challenges) and, you'll be pleased to know, it's still not as messy as it could be. Apparently, I will continue to struggle with that one.
  • July 7 of 12
    During the hottest month of the year I went to the Harley-Davidson Headquarters in Milwaukee and rode my first motorcycle all by myself! It was a Life List goal that I got to cross off and in the Spring of 2013 I'm taking the course to earn my motorcycle license. Daring to do new things wasn't so much a resolution of mine as it is just a practice in life that I'm trying to do more.
  • August 8 of 12
    August was a busy month of weddings for a lot of my friends and even Mason's friends. He was a groomsman for the very first time and looked devilishly handsome. Since it was such a ridiculously hot August, we sweat through our clothes at every wedding.
  • September 9 of 12
    In September, my daughter Mallory went to Paris with her boyfriend, Kolin. When they came home, they were engaged! She's planning a wedding for September of 2013 and it's going to be a fun ride with her on this journey.
  • October 10 of 12
    At the end of 2011 I secured my very first passport thinking that I'd use it "sometime in the future". But, in October, I left the country for the first time and traveled to Ethiopia, Africa with the ONE Moms group to see how foreign aid dollars goes toward preventing extreme poverty and preventable diseases.
  • November 11 of 12
    During this election year, Mason was old enough to vote and he and I volunteered for the Obama campaign together and I got to support him as a first time voter. It was far more proud a moment than I anticipated. Being politically aware and socially conscious are things I've only ever talked about, but this year I put my money where my mouth was and got involved with my local food bank as well.
  • December 12 of 12
    We celebrated a lot this year: adding to our family, traveling to new places, and just growing up in general. (That goes for me as a mom, too, not just my children.) Doing it wasn't always easy, but I'm breathing a sigh of relief that we managed it as a family and loved one another through all of 2012.

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